Sheet of paper that keeps fruits and vegetables fresh longer.
WASHINGTON, DC: Indian American inventor Kavita Shukla’s middle school project on how to keep fruits and vegetables fresh longer, is being launched as a national product at more than 1,000 Bed Bath & Beyond stores today.
Shukla’s invention, FreshPaper, a simple innovation that has garnered international recognition for its potential to change the food system, is headed to kitchens and lunchboxes nationwide, through Bed Bath & Beyond stores today, just in time for back to school, according to a release.
FreshPaper sheets are infused with organic spices that keep fruits and vegetables fresh for 2–4 hours longer, naturally. One small sheet is simply dropped into fridge drawers, fruit bowls, and containers filled with produce. FreshPaper is made in the USA, and is recyclable, biodegradable, and compostable.
FreshPaper started as Shukla’s middle school science project and was inspired by a homemade “spice tea” her grandmother in India once gave her as a remedy for drinking contaminated tap water. A grassroots movement has since taken FreshPaper from a single farmer’s market stall in Cambridge, MA to farmers and families worldwide.
The inspiring FreshPaper story has captured the attention of influencers like Oprah Winfrey and Richard Branson, and was the subject of a short film by Hollywood director Bryce Dallas Howard. In 2013, FreshPaper was presented with the INDEX: Award, the world’s largest prize for design (previously awarded to Apple and Tesla) by Her Royal Highness the Crown Princess of Denmark.
Today, the FreshPaper brand is recognized as a pioneer in the movement towards reducing food waste. Shukla hopes FreshPaper’s growing retail presence will spark a national conversation around this enormous global challenge, and inspire aspiring entrepreneurs, especially women, to dream bigger.
“We’re excited to partner with Bed Bath & Beyond, a visionary retailer that is helping us make fresh, healthy eating more accessible and affordable,” said Shukla, in a statement. “When I set up a stall at my local farmer’s market, after trying and failing for years to bring my idea to the world, I could never have imagined that one day we’d be working with the world’s biggest retailers.”
The patented and award-winning product will retail at Bed Bath & Beyond in packs of 8 sheets (approximately a 2-month supply) for $9.99, helping customers save money, reduce food waste, and eat fresh.
While the world’s farmers harvest enough food to feed the planet, more than twenty-five percent of the world’s food supply is lost to spoilage, resulting in massive land, water, energy, and human costs. FreshPaper is taking on this enormous, yet often overlooked, global challenge with its mission of “Fresh for All.”
Shukla holds four patents, and has received several international honors, including the INDEX: Design to Improve Life Award. She has been inducted into the National Gallery for America’s Young Inventors and was a First Place Winner at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair for her initial research on FreshPaper.
Shukla was recently a featured speaker at the Women in the World Summit at the Lincoln Center along with Hillary Clinton, Angelina Jolie, Meryl Streep, and Oprah Winfrey. Her work on FreshPaper, and her quest to take on global food waste, has been featured by CNN, The New York Times, Forbes, The Washington Post, The Economist, Bloomberg, The Guardian, Oprah Magazine, Glamour, and The Today Show. She was also featured as one of the “7 Entrepreneurs Changing the World” by Fast Company and on the Forbes “30 under 30” list. She holds a BA from Harvard University.